On Aug 2nd BET aired the Independently produced film Middle Of Nowhere and I was able to experience my favorite film of 2012 again with a bunch of my twitter peeps. To me, the next best thing about enjoying a film or book is sharing that enjoyment with others whether it be online or in person. Unfortunately, this film was not widely released leaving me few opportunities to dialogue with others about how truly great this film is which in and of itself is troubling. Diversity in films benefits everyone. Diversity challenges viewers through unique POV's forcing them out their comfort zone. Diversity lets people appreciate characters and situations they never knew existed and in the process expands their world. And those of you who support the campaign #WeNeedMoreDiverse books please support organizations that are striving for diversity in films. Organizations like Diversity in Cannes that empowers film makers to thing outside the box. AFFRM which strives to put black-themed films in commercial theaters. And Reelsisters which celebrates women of color in film. You can also tweet and share your favorite diverse films that were not widely distributed. Three of my favorites might be unknowns to most people. These three films are remarkable in casting, cinematography, and POV. If you already have seen them please share your thoughts or reply back with some of your favs. If not, do yourself the favor of getting familiar with these films, the actors, and directors because that is the first step in supporting diversified films.
Secrets and Lies
The characters in this tense melodrama are painfully real and deal with complex issues in a way that lends credence to their humanity and frailty. The skill with which these beautifully flawed characters are handled draws you in, engages you. This film was also my first introduction to the magnificent Marie Jean Baptist and the under appreciated Timothy Spall of Harry Potter fame. And what makes this film even more impressive is that the majority of it was improvisational. A must see.
City Of God
If you are born in America no matter how disparate the conditions, you have a chance, a shot to better your life no matter how daunting the odds. This fact was crystallized after watching The City Of God. Loosely based on real events the environment of hopelessness, violence and depravity is the primary protagonist as the bit characters fight for turf, drugs, guns and one for his creative soul. This stunning film also introduced the world to the beautiful Alice Braga. I have never been more appreciative of the life I have and the opportunities provided me than after watching this film. But you be the judge.
I Will Follow
Had to watch this film twice to appreciate it. And I think my biggest issue was viewing Omari Hardwick and Salli Richardson as the talented individuals they are and not as the eye candy the are often promoted as. But more than anything else this is a film of loss, of relationships, and of moving forward. And as I watched it the 2nd and 3rd time I became even more appreciative of their nuanced performances, like the subtlety of the briefest facial expression. Also, there was no wasted dialogue in this film. No throw away lines. Every uttered word had meaning be it a past hurt, a current challenge, or the promise of tomorrow. Don't know how I stumbled upon it but I'm glad I did and I'm happy to share it with you.